Camp: ‘At No Time Was The Issue Of Abuse Raised By Mrs. Devita’
BOSTON (CBS) – The mother of the man accused of molesting three people at a Christian camp on the Cape says she tried to warn the camp about him, but was ignored, an assertion that the camp denies as being true.
Sandy Devita spoke Thursday in an interview from her home in Tampa, Florida, a day after her son Chuck killed himself at Camp Good News in Sandwich.
WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports
The camp apologized to Senator Scott Brown earlier this year after he claimed he was molested at a camp on the Cape when he was a child. Brown has refused to identify the name of the camp.
The Brown incident encouraged an unidentified man to come forward this week, claiming Devita molested him at the camp as a child, according to the man’s attorney Mitchell Garabedian.
While authorities investigated the claim, Devita, 43, shot and killed himself at the camp Wednesday morning.
Garabedian said three more alleged abuse victims came forward on Wednesday, bringing the total of complaints from former campers to four. Three of the four said they were victimized by Devita.
Devita talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens
Devita’s mother said she suspected something about her son more than two decades ago.
“I thought something might have been going on at the camp many years ago and I called them and they kind of brushed it off,” she said.
“They were afraid he was gay rather than the thing that I was most concerned about, which is the child abuse, the sex abuse.”
Devita said she was once a sex abuse investigator in New York and her son’s behavior prompted her concern.
“He was not dating as a young man his age should,” she said. “He was working in field where there were children.”
“He had no social life. He wound up working at the camp. He had gone to the camp as a young child.”
“He was just hanging out with kids basically, and that was disturbing to me because of my training and knowledge that I had.”
“I confronted him with it myself,” she said. “I couldn’t break my son and I tried to… he gave me a song and dance.”
Devita said she stopped talking to her son when he was 24.
She added that it’s “very painful” to see how things turned out.
“I was right and I wish I could have done something, but there was nothing I could do,” she said.
“If I had known he was really doing what I was suspicious of, I would have had him arrested.”
Camp Good News denied in a statement that they were ever informed. “Faith Willard, a 78-year-old with an MA in counseling from Columbia University, had only one phone conversation with Sandy Devita and has never met her in person, to the best of her knowledge…At no time was the issue of abuse raised by Mrs. Devita to Ms. Willard,” the statement read in part.